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Accepted Paper:

Recovery of Everyday Life and Its Failure: Traumatic Masculinities by Survivors of Russo–Chechen Wars at Collective Centres for Asylum Seekers in Poland  
Michal Sipos (Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

This paper opens a window to the world of one Nakh man to examine constructions of masculinities by asylum-seeking survivors of Russo-Chechen wars in Poland. It shows that failure to recover everyday life is implicated in the production of novel forms of sociality at collective centres for refugees.

Paper long abstract:

Since the beginning of Second Chechen War in 1999, tens of thousands of survivors of military and political violence in the North Caucasus applied for asylum in Poland. As part of efforts to aid and control refugees, state authorities encamped most survivors of Russo-Chechen wars in collective centres for asylum seekers. Nearly all facilities were situated in various deprived areas, where refugees frequently encountered xenophobia and exploitation. Many adult refugee men tended to adhere to traditional notions of masculinity in Chechnya while attempting to cope with violence and numerous other problems in their lives. If refugee men from strongly patriarchal societies attempt to rebuild their lives at collective centres (together with their relatives and members of their ethnic communities), where they endure violations of masculine power, they may reproduce traumatic masculinities that coexist with hegemonic ones (Kabachnik et al. 2013). Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this paper examines construction of refugee traumatic masculinities at the camp-based limbo in Poland. Focused on an individual life, this paper suggests that failure to recover everyday life shapes the identity work of migrant men at collective centres for refugees. In this paper, I show how a masculine subject became absent from his experience after the ‘turn into the ordinary’ (Das 2007) was blocked in his new home. Once the unclaimed experience became a part of day-to-day life inside the centre, it was then implicated in the production of novel forms of sociality (as with his previous attempts to remake a world).

Panel P016b
Proposed Title: Promises, Performativity, and Precarious Futures after Mass Violence II
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -